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This Fall Wine and Pie Party is the perfect way to get together with friends and family, even in the busiest of seasons.
If you can conquer the difficult task of planning around schedules and getting everyone together why not make the rest of the night a breeze? Great wine, dessert and company is all you need for a festive fall night with friends.
You know how it goes… carve out a day that works for you but when calling friends realize that everyone’s lives are just as packed as yours. It’s always hard to get everyone together but over the holidays? It’s a miracle! By the time I got my recent Fall Wine and Pie Party on the books I had put out so much effort into just scheduling it that I decided on an easy, less-is-more approach for the actual party.
If you’ve been following along with me for awhile you may have noticed a change in the way I do things. From my (zero effort!) Modern Dino Party to our Family Pizza Night you’ll see my parties are becoming less elaborate. Maybe it’s that I’m throwing more parties so ease is a necessity but lately I have been on the lookout for ways to make events easier without scrimping on fun.
Wine and Pie Party Decorations
Even simple, relaxed nights with friends should feel special. People are taking time out of their busy lives to accept the invitation, so put some effort into the details and turn a simple night into an event to remember. Choosing a color palette is the easiest way to create a cohesive event, and when those colors are pulled from your already there home decor it’s a breeze! Neutral black and white, mixed metals, and rich browns were already abundant in my house so all I had to do was choose a fun accent color (green) to pull it all together.
Using candlesticks, serving pieces and candles in mixed metal tones makes it look intentional when you don’t have enough of any one thing to make a complete set.
Place cards made out of chalkboard tape wrapped around delicate thistles and evergreen sprigs mimick the greenery and chalkboard accents on the dessert bar. If you choose to have an open guest list instead of requesting RSVPs write generic sayings like ‘bon appetite’, ‘cheers’ or ‘enjoy!’ on the place cards.
For a DIY Wine Station stock a bar cart with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines, wine glasses and a corkscrew and guests can help themselves to beverages all night long.
Crafted for over 30 years Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wines are balanced and smooth. Perfect for everyday, but also great for parties because you don’t need a lot of choices to provide something for everyone. Just several 1.5 liter bottes of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Red Blend and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay and you’ll have something that will pair with all foods and all people will enjoy.
As a playful riff on classic diner dessert displays pies were labeled with chalkboard tape wrapped appetizer picks. Leaving extra labels and a chalk marker on the pie bar allows guests to label their dishes when they arrive.
To create a full and appetizing looking dessert display place goodies at various heights. Cake stands and wood crates add dimension and interest. Here, a metal tray sits atop a stoneware crock for a diy pie pedestal. Get creative and use what you have!
Wine and Pie Party Food and Drink
By focusing on an array of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wine, a delicious Butterball Whole Turkey and a pie bar stocked with Marie Callender’s Dessert Pies the menu is streamlined and very doable. The host provides the wine, a wine based cocktail, dessert, and the main dish and guests are asked to contribute a bottle of wine, their favorite pie topping, or a side.
For a limited time, visit Shopkick and save big when purchasing Woodbridge, Butterball and Marie Callender’s.
On arrival friends were offered mini Apple Pie Wine Slushies. Having a little something to greet guests and set the tone for the party is a great way to get the party started and when it’s as easy as blending frozen fresh-pressed cider with crisp Woodbridge Chardonnay, it’s a no brainer.
Seriously, two ingredients and a few seconds in the blender is all it takes for these fun fall sips. It does require a little forethought to pour apple cider into ice cube trays at least 24 hours in advance. Don’t try to rush things and use ice cubes and cider. The drink will be watered down and won’t be as luscious as frozen cider.
Apple Pie Wine Slushie
A simple and delicious 2 ingredient frozen wine and cider cocktail.
- 3 cups fresh-pressed or unfiltered apple cider ice cubes about 1 standard size ice cube tray
- 1.5 cups Woodbridge Chardonnay
- dash cinnamon powder optional
At least 1 day before you plan on serving, pour apple cider into ice cube tray and place in the freezer.
Remove ice into blender and pour in chardonnay.
Blend until smooth. Top with cinnamon powder (optional) and serve immediately.
After guests enjoyed their Apple Pie Wine Slushies, they helped themselves to the wine bar stocked with Woodbridge Red Blend and the same Woodbridge Chardonnay used in the slushies.
Crafted for over 30 years Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines are perfect for everyday but special for holidays. I especially like the Red Blend for the this time of year. It has a warm and toasty aroma and hints of jammy blackberry, vanilla, and baking spices. It’s full and rich with a long, flavorful finish and it pairs especially well with the traditional menu of turkey and pie.
A tender and juicy all natural Butterball Whole Turkey makes a surprisingly easy way to feed a crowd on a budget. It may seem intimidating but roasting a turkey is actually very easy, especially with Butterball! Growing up, Butterball and Thanksgiving were synonymous and after I moved out it was the only brand I reached for during holidays. Butterball is the number one brand of turkey in America, and for good reason! Over the holidays, they have a Turkey Talk-Line with teams of experts just waiting to answer any of your thanksgiving cooking questions.
Turkey Talk-Line 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372)
Luckily, this method for Orange Sage Roasted Turkey is so simple and time tested that no emergency phone calls or visits to the Turkey Day Tips Hub were needed, but these great resources are just a click or call away.
To make this delicious and elegant roast turkey, simply remove all the innards from both cavities of the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Rub skin with an orange half then place oranges into turkey cavity with garlic, onion and sage leaves. Then the secret is to gently run your hand between the turkey meat and the skin to open it up and place butter, whole sage leaves and thyme sprigs under the skin. THEN, melt more butter with garlic to slather over the entire bird. Cover with a generous helping of salt and pepper and place breast side DOWN in roasting pan. Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Return the bird breast side up, reduce heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and continue roasting until cooked through, up to 2 1/2 hours longer. Let rest and carve.
If you have extra garlic butter and herbs, roast up some in season produce with it! Delicata squash is an easy side when covered in leftover turkey seasoning and roasted in the already hot oven while the turkey rests.
Lastly, the pie! I just adore pie. For as long as I can remember I have requested pumpkin pie for my birthday instead of cake and I went the same route on my wedding day as well. My grandma, who still makes me a pumpkin pie when I visit, made me hundreds of servings of homemade pie for my special day, and it was such an amazing and mouth watering sight.
For this party, I wanted that same luscious display of pie with all different options but didn’t want to call on grandma or spend every spare minute in the kitchen for a week so I made one of my quick pie desserts and picked up a few varieties of Marie Callender’s Dessert Pies at the grocery store.
Strawberry Pie Bites, Dutch Apple, Pumpkin and Chocolate Silk Pie give guests a variety of flavors to choose from and are easy to bake up.
Dutch Apple and Pumpkin simply take a quick bake in the oven and they are warm, delicious and full of homemade flavor and the Chocolate Silk doesn’t even need to be baked.
Even though Marie Callender’s Pies are easy to make and quick to clean up I still recommend baking a day in advance so you can dedicate your oven to the turkey and sides.. plus, pies slice so much better if you let them cool at least 3 hours before slicing.
Served with homemade whipped cream, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream and whatever else you can dream up, a pie bar turns into a diy interactive food station. Guests have a great time coming up with new combinations – pumpkin pie topped with a big ole dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel anyone?
As the night winds down fill take out boxes with turkey, sides and pie to give to guests as they walk out the door.
With all the wine and visiting, guests probably will not eat as much they would have liked so it’s nice to send them with a little something for later.
With a strip of washi tape and a hand lettered note, a simple styro take out box gets a chic update.
Let’s talk about Styrofoam for a minute… I HATE it. Like seriously, loathe the stuff and will not even accept a free coffee if it comes in Styrofoam.. but I also felt really strongly about sending my guests home with a to go box and of course forgot to pick some up when I was in town. I live 30 minutes from any town and although I could have made a special trip for a nice quality paper to go boxes, that just doesn’t make a lot of sense in my life. Luckily, the amazing couple who owns the burger/pizza/teriyaki joint in my little lake community answered my distress call and saved the day by giving me a stack of their to go containers.. and you know the old saying ‘beggars can’t be choosers’. Well, technically I didn’t beg.. I just asked reeeeeeal nicely. And I think there’s a good lesson to be had here.. if we wait around for things to be perfect or put demands on ourselves to be perfect, we will always come up with a reason to say ‘no’ to the things we want to do for fear of it not being good enough. But sometimes you just got to let it all go, pop open a bottle of wine, stick a frozen pie in the oven and invite some friends over!
Tips for Fall Wine and Pie Party Success:
- Delegate the work! Take on the dishes that you really love to make and accept help with the rest. Either from store bought goods or letting guests bring a dish.
- Start the party off right with a special little bite or drink to greet guests when they arrive.
- Keep it simple and know that guests will do more socializing and imbibing than actual eating. Have to go containers ready to send home with guests.
- Have a few good bottles of wine open and stock your bar with everything guests might need to mix up their own concoctions.
- Take it easy on yourself and realize that the main goal is spending time with your loved ones. Don’t strive for perfection, just strive for fun and relaxed.
I hope these tips inspire you to create time for the ones you love in your life. Cheers!
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